Tesla boss Elon Musk takes offense at the media coverage. Also: Virgin Orbit is laying off almost all employees, Italy blocks ChatGPT and Paris no longer wants e-scooters.
Good morning! Even during the weekend, work in the digital scene continued in many places.
The top topics:
Tesla presented the figures for the first quarter: The US electric car manufacturer delivered around 423,000 vehicles. This means that 36 percent more cars were sold than a year ago. Compared to the previous quarter, sales increased by four percent.
However, the analysts had expected even more cars: around 430,000 vehicles had been mentioned. Expectations were so high after the electric car maker reduced prices in January to stimulate demand. The Reuters news agency then opened up with this headline: “Tesla misses delivery estimates for the first quarter.” But the agency angered Musk so much that he couldn’t help but open it Twitter fired back by saying that this was a very “misleading” headline that would “backfire” on Reuters. Musk later deleted the tweet. [Mehr bei Reuters, Wall Street Journal und CNBC]
On Founder Scene: The coalition committee has in matters traffic turnaround announced a rather sober result last week. One measure in particular is surprising: the traffic light government wants to continue to focus on motorways. There were no incentives to get more people off the streets in order to at least come close to reaching the climate target, complains our torque columnist Don Dahlmann. [Mehr bei Gründerszene]
And here are the other headlines of the night and the past few days:
Virgin Orbit is laying off 675 employees, or 85 percent of its workforce, after failing to raise new capital. The space company will cease operations “for the foreseeable future,” CEO Dan Hart is said to have announced to employees. Founded in 2017 by billionaire Richard Branson, the company went on hiatus two weeks ago to save money while the management team looked for new investors. But talks with two investors are said to have failed in the late phase of the deal. [Mehr bei Spiegel, Techcrunch und The Information]
OpenAI suffers a setback in Italy. The country’s data protection authority wants to slow down on the subject of artificial intelligence (AI) and has temporarily blocked the AI chatbot ChatGPT in the country. On Friday, the authority said that the operator OpenAI did not provide sufficient information about the use of data. E-mobility has also had a more difficult time in Europe since Sunday: Parisian citizens voted in favor of e-scooters like Lime, Dr and Tier offer to ban them from the French capital in the future. [Mehr bei Handelsblatt, Techcrunch und Techcrunch]
Groupon Gets a New CEO: Dusan Senkypl, a current board member, will become the interim CEO of the Chicago-based bargain portal. Senkypl will manage the company from the Czech Republic. After Groupon once received a takeover bid from Google declined and instead went public with a market cap of $17.8 billion, the company has since stumbled. Currently, the market cap is just $103 million – down 99.4 percent from when it debuted. [Mehr bei Techcrunch]
Huawei confirmed a breakthrough in semiconductor design technology on Friday. China’s chip industry is being “reborn” as a result of US sanctions, said Eric Xu, one of the top executives at the Chinese telecom company. Semiconductors have been a focal point in the US-China competition for technological dominance. At the same time, the group reported net income of around $5.18 billion for 2022, down 69 percent from the previous year. [Mehr bei CNBC]
Ali Baba-Co-founder Jack Ma is said to have orchestrated the liquidation of the e-commerce empire he built from abroad, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. Despite stepping down as Alibaba’s executive chairman in 2019, Ma is said to have remained an influential figure at the company and actively involved in making strategic decisions. He was apparently urging the company to break up to make it more agile and competitive in the confusing Chinese market. [Mehr bei Wall Street Journal]
JD.com plans to list its real estate and industrial units on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, raising about $1 billion each, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. The Chinese e-commerce group announced late last week that it intends to spin off Jingdong Property and Jingdong Industrials. [Mehr bei Wall Street Journal]
Our reading tip on Gründerszene: Lilium writes losses in the three-digit million range and hardly achieves any sales. The stock continues to fall on the US stock exchange. The startup is vague about its market launch. [Mehr bei Gründerszene]
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Have a good start into the week!
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